How to check electrical system? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-06-2015, 12:33 PM   #1
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How to check electrical system?

The electric on my 1978 Trillium was working fine until yesterday. I thought I had switched everything to the correct spot on the little control panel near the floor under the sink, but nothing seems to work. My extension cord/power source was not the problem. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!!
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Old 01-06-2015, 04:12 PM   #2
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How to check electrical system?

I know nothing about trilliums, but to help somebody that might, is it your 12v and/or 120v that isn't working? Is there a battery hooked up?

If it's just 12v, I would check fuses, but I don't have a clue where they are. If the 120 isn't working, I would look for a main breaker that's tripped, again no clue where. If resetting didn't work, I would get a meter and check for voltage on both sides of the breaker (don't shock yourself).

I assume you've plugged something into the extension cord to check it?

Any adapters that go on the cord to match the camper?

There's an electrical section here, FYI. Don't delete the thread, a mod will move it there soon.

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Old 01-07-2015, 08:10 AM   #3
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:31 AM   #4
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Send a picture of what you have switched on/off
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:44 AM   #5
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1978 Trillium electrical panel

Trying to post a shot of my electrical panel. I was able to restore power by jiggling things around, but I need to learn more about what all this means. I bought two new deep cell batteries and had them installed, but not sure how to test them or use them.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:36 PM   #6
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Do you have a 12 Volt plug in the trailer? It looks like a cigarette lighter plug? If you have one buy yourself a 12 Volt battery monitor plug in to see your batteries are charged up.

In the Documents Center of this forum you can download a wiring diagram for a Trillium 1300.

To trouble shoot wiring issues you will need to get yourself a Multimeter.

Its sounds like you have some loose connections if you are able to jiggle things to make them work.

More details as to what is and is not working would help others to give your advise as to the actual issues. I.E. does the 110 plug work when you are plugged into power. Do any lights inside the trailer work - some are all. Are the ones that are working 110 or 12V?
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:01 PM   #7
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The batteries are brand new so I hope they are fully charged, but I will buy a monitor plug...sounds like a good thing to have. I do believe I have one of those cigarette-lighter things! After jiggling stuff around, found that all interior lights work while plugged in to land current. Just not sure how to test the lights with the batteries. I am way too uncomfortable with electricity to test things myself, so I guess I will have to hire a professional. Very happy to have the wiring diagram, though! Thanks for all your help.
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane in California View Post
The batteries are brand new so I hope they are fully charged, but I will buy a monitor plug...sounds like a good thing to have. I do believe I have one of those cigarette-lighter things! After jiggling stuff around, found that all interior lights work while plugged in to land current. Just not sure how to test the lights with the batteries. I am way too uncomfortable with electricity to test things myself, so I guess I will have to hire a professional. Very happy to have the wiring diagram, though! Thanks for all your help.

While who ever installed the new batteries should have fully charged them prior to install - you will never know if they did or did not not with out a means to check the voltage. Also if you have been running lights and playing with other items in the trailer and there is no charge system working they could be dead by now.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:09 PM   #9
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Hi, I have another electrical question. Took my 78 Trillium out camping last weekend, and had no problem hooking up to an electrical site and getting everything to work. However, I made a big mistake. I plugged in a small electric heater and turned it on, and blew a fuse or tripped a breaker or whatever I did. I looked at the schematic, but my trailer seems different and I cannot locate the fuse or breaker or whatever it is I need to fix. A photo of my electrical panel is posted near the beginning of this thread. Can anyone tell me what I need to check to see what I've blown? Thank you!
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:20 PM   #10
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Just to the left of the plug on your power panel is a circuit breaker for the 120VAC outlet IF (only IF) your were plugged in there, or that also protects any outlets in your camper, that should have popped out and needs to be pushed in.


Even if your heater is rated at less than the 10 amps shown, or 1200 watts total, as circuit breakers age they will trip at lower and lower points, especially if they are tripped a number of times from overloads. That is usually a <$10 part to replace, but the labor may make the thought of updating to a modern power center such as the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 an attractive idea.


There may be a fuse or circuit breaker elsewhere if you have additional outlets.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:04 PM   #11
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Standard circuit breakers have both mechanical and electrical components
Depending on where the breaker panel is physically located ,can often affect a circuit breakers trip point . If a circuit breaker is subject to high humidity such as in a garage, pool area or trailer , the internal metal parts rust and cause binding of the breakers mechanical parts and actually raise the trip points . Breakers that have been subject to short circuit fault currents and trip under fault often suffer contact damage and require replacement . Breakers that trip from overload currents seldom are damaged unless the breaker has been subjected to numerous overloads trips . Circuit breakers need to be exercised on a regular basis to make sure their mechanical parts move freely . If a breaker trips make sure to disconnect the piece of equipment responsible for the trip and then reset the circuit breaker . Repeated closing of a circuit breaker across a fault / overload will damage the breaker
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:47 PM   #12
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Thanks all! I did locate that little circuit breaker to the left of the plug. A green band is showing, and the very faint instructions next to it says to push the button back in if that green is showing. I tried that and the darn thing wouldn't move. The other, larger button on the right of the panel also has some writing around it stating it is also a circuit breaker. I tried pushing that in as well, and then plugged into a land line. Nothing. Unfortunately, I don't understand electrical terminology past the most rudimentary things, so I will call in the Big Guns. Where I live, most dealerships and repair shops outright refuse to work on these old trailers, so I will have to do some searching for a good electrician! Thanks, too, for your recommendation about what kind of a panel to buy. I looked them up on line and they seem reasonably priced. As we all know, it's the labor that's gonna be expensive, which is why I was hoping I could do it myself. Oh well!!
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:55 PM   #13
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First, did it "Click" when you pushed in on the circuit breaker? If not, try pushing harder, you might even try to rotate it when you are pushing.
If you get interested in installing the PD-4045 let me know as I know several sources that sell it for substantially below retail, like <$175.
Where are you located in CA? I may be able to recommend someone to help.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane in California View Post
Where I live, most dealerships and repair shops outright refuse to work on these old trailers, so I will have to do some searching for a good electrician!
Keep in mind Jane as why they may not want to work on such an old trailers, when you find a good electrician they may not want to touch that converter either

Bob's suggestion as to a new converter is probable not a bad idea.
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